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Slug Epidemic - How to Tackle It

How to Tackle the Slug Epidemic Without Harming Wild Birds

Did you know that Britain could be on the verge of a slug epidemic? Nobody wants slugs in their garden as these slimy critters will devastate plants. There are always some slugs about but many are usually killed off during the winter. The slug population is controlled naturally by the changing seasons but perhaps not this year.

Mild Winters Mean More Slugs

The mild winter has meant that there are going to be more slugs about. They begin to surface in large numbers during the autumn. If the winter months are mild again this year, then there could be a slug epidemic next year. If you don’t want your property to be inundated with these land based molluscs the time to act is now.

But slug pellets are not the answer. These pellets represent a risk to wild birds and the other wildlife that you do actually want to visit your garden. So what can you do to ward off the slug invasion?

How to Eradicate Slugs

Unfortunately, the easiest way to remove slugs is to pick them up and then place them in a jar of water to drown them. If you find this to be an unpleasant prospect, then invest in a pair of garden gloves! But before you can capture the slugs you have to find them.

You can entice the slugs to a certain area by placing pieces of wood on the ground. You could also try laying grated potato or carrot on the floor. Some gardeners swear by saucers of beer which the slugs will drown in. Slugs are nocturnal and so you should lay your traps in the evening. Captured slugs can be killed quickly by beheading them with a sharp knife.

Whatever means you use to capture the slugs, there is little point in transporting them elsewhere or sneakily throwing them over the fence into next door’s garden. This is merely transferring the problem and the slugs might very well return to your side of the fence.

Pond Life

If you have a garden pond, then you could be in luck. Frogs, toads and ducks all prey on slugs and so your pond could provide a natural defence against the invaders.

The Last Resort

If you do feel that you have to use pellets, try putting them under stones, rotting wood or pieces of slate where the slugs like to lay their eggs. This will keep them out of sight of the birds. You should also ensure that your bird feeders are kept topped up so the birds have an obvious source of food and are less likely to be attracted to the slug pellets.

Shocking the Slugs

If you can’t rid your garden of slugs, then you can protect your plants and trees with copper. Stand your pots and tubs on copper feet and use copper rings on shrubs and trees. When the slugs try to climb up to reach the plant matter their slime reacts with the copper to give them a small electric shock.


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